Generating More Electricity With Less Impact: TransAlta Releases 2012 Annual Report on Sustainability

Jun 6, 2013

• 36% (over 15 million tonnes CO2e) gross reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions and 10.5% reduction in CO2e emissions intensity since 2005.
• 25% renewable energy capacity in TransAlta’s portfolio.
• Largest Canadian wind energy producer.
• $62.9 million in environmental investments and expenditures.
• 33% reduction in kg of mercury (Hg) emissions between 2011 and 2012.
• Second continuous year of top quartile safety performance.
• Significant reclamation progress including: 85,000 trees planted at Whitewood Mine and 50,000 more trees planted at Centralia Mine.

CALGARY, Alberta (June 6, 2013) – TransAlta Corporation (TSX: TA; NYSE: TAC) today released their annual 2012 Report on Sustainability and announced that it is generating more electricity with less emissions and less overall environmental impact.

“To be successful in the energy business, sustainability must be second-nature. Sustainability isn’t merely a value or a belief – it’s how we conduct our business,” said TransAlta President and CEO Dawn Farrell.

In 2012, TransAlta expanded its status as a Canadian renewable energy leader and it remains Canada’s largest publicly traded generator and marketer of electricity and renewable power.  TransAlta’s renewable power generation capacity grew to 4.8 million MWh, making renewables 25% of its portfolio.  Emissions also sharply declined in 2012.  The report highlights a 33% reduction in kg of mercury emissions and a 36% (over 15 million tonnes CO2e) gross reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions since 2005.

“TransAlta works hard to minimize environmental impacts; we do this through thoroughly reclaiming former operating sites and collaborating on new technologies to reduce emissions. We do this because it’s not just about delivering electricity, it’s about delivering responsible electricity, ” said Don Wharton, Vice-President of Policy and Sustainability for TransAlta.
TransAlta’s Contributions to Delivering Responsible Electricity:

TransAlta values employee and contractor safety; this is a core value at TransAlta, and 2012 is the second continuous year of top quartile safety performance with a 0.89 injury frequency rate (IFR).

TransAlta continues to invest in renewables; the newest wind facility in New Richmond, Quebec was commissioned adding 68 MW and making wind power 13% of TransAlta’s net ownership capacity. In addition, TransAlta has made significant investments in its hydro facilities.

TransAlta values responsible land stewardship; significant reclamation work occurred at the Wabamun Mine site in 2012; Whitewood Mine reclamation work is near completion, and Centralia reclamation work is on track with well over 1.5 million trees already planted.

TransAlta encourages a culture of knowledge sharing; TransAlta continues to share learnings from its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project with the international CCS community, as well as sharing knowledge from avian research being conducted at its Ontario wind facilities.

TransAlta values community connections; in 2012 over 18,000 volunteer hours were logged by TransAlta employees and retirees in the communities in which we operate.
Our Approach to Sustainability Reporting:

For 19 years TransAlta has been reporting on its sustainability performance with the purpose of providing clear and comprehensive coverage about its sustainability practices, progress and performance. TransAlta has been recognized for its sustainability leadership for six consecutive years by the FTSE4Good Index and for four consecutive years has been listed on the Sustainalytics-Macleans Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations.

TransAlta’s Sustainability Report follows the intent of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Guidelines. The GRI is an independent, multi-national and multi-stakeholder organization representing business, the environment, labour and human rights issues.

TransAlta voluntarily has its Report on Sustainability data assured by a third-party. It has done so for six consecutive years. Details of the scope and conclusions of the assurance engagement can be found in the Independent Limited Assurance Statement found on page 42 of the Full Report.

For the 2012 Report, TransAlta has included  a new section establishing 23 sustainability targets, which demonstrates TransAlta’s commitment to continuous improvement.  The targets include environmental, social and economic metrics that have been integrated with TransAlta’s operational goals.

Targets will be tracked throughout the year, and reported on in the following year’s Sustainability Report.
Further details on the 23 targets can be found on pages 02 and 03 of the Full Report, which is available online from TransAlta’s website at:
TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company focused on creating long-term shareholder value. TransAlta maintains a low-to-moderate risk profile by operating a highly contracted portfolio of assets in Canada, the United States and Australia. TransAlta’s focus is to efficiently operate geothermal, wind, hydro, natural gas and coal facilities in order to provide customers with a reliable, low-cost source of power. For over 100 years, TransAlta has been a responsible operator and a proud contributor to the communities in which it works and lives. TransAlta has been selected by Jantzi-Sustainalytics as one of Canada’s Top 50 Socially Responsible Companies since 2009 and is recognized globally for its leadership on sustainability and corporate responsibility standards by FTSE4Good. TransAlta is Canada’s largest investor-owned renewable energy provider.

This news release may contain forward looking statements, including statements regarding the business and anticipated financial performance of TransAlta Corporation. These statements are based on TransAlta Corporation’s belief and assumptions based on information available at the time the assumption was made. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause such differences include legislative or regulatory developments, competition, global capital markets activity, changes in prevailing interest rates, currency exchange rates, inflation levels, commodity prices and general economic conditions in geographic areas where TransAlta Corporation operates.


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For more information:

Media inquiries:

Stacey Hatcher, TransAlta
Senior Corporate Relations Advisor
Toll Free Media Number:  1-855-255-9189  or Email:

Investor inquiries:

Brent Ward, TransAlta
Director, Corporate Finance and Investor Relations
Toll Free: 1 800-387-3598